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Lost City of Z (James Gray, 2017)

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
This film is Aguire: The Wrath of God by way of David Lean, and it is just as great as that description would make you think. I had a couple of minor quibbles with the film. The sound mixing seems a bit off in the jungle sequences, as the dialogue is kind of hard to hear. I don't know if that is intentional or if they just didn't have the resources to do extensive ADR work if there were issues with the origina recordings, but it is noticable. Also, while I respect Gray's decision to shoot on 35mm, digital is at the point where I think it would have been better for this film, as it captures low light better, and there are several sequences in very low light. That is more a personal preference, though.

Overall, I would call this a masterpiece, and it actually made me respect Hunnam as a performer - something I previously thought impossible.
post #2 of 51

I may try to see about checking this out.

post #3 of 51

I've been on the fence.  On one hand, I love the book.  On the other, Hunnam.  I may have to give this a shot.

post #4 of 51

thinking of seeing this this weekend.  The reviews are hitting my sweet spot enough that I may ignore the buzzing in the back of my head about giving Hunnam another chance.

post #5 of 51

I've heard nothing but good things about this and Hunnam's performance. I wish it was playing somewhere a bit nearer to me.

post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by COULD432 View Post

This film is Aguire: The Wrath of God by way of David Lean, and it is just as great as that description would make you think. 

SOLD.

post #7 of 51
I'm really excited for this.
post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 
I want to stress that, prior to this, I really hated Hunnam, but he is actually good in this. He isn't amazing, but he ably carries the movie. It probably helps that he isn't being forced into using a ridiculous American accent.
post #9 of 51

I thought the film was amazing. Hunnam is emotional and thoughtful here. The movie had a very old vibe to it, like something made in the late 80's, early 90's, so it doesn't surprise me to find out that it was actually shot on 35mm. Big shout to Angus Macfadyen who does pathetic extraordinarily well. The movie seems to drag and nag at you with the questions of why Hunnam is so engrossed with finding this mythological-like place, but it all comes together at the end in a very subdued and spiritual way. 


Edited by Carnotaur3 - 4/22/17 at 8:30pm
post #10 of 51

I have to admit I was more intellectually rather than emotionally engaged by this, but I did find it to be pretty engrossing. Hunnam really is much better without the American accent. Holland was also really good here, IMO. Thought the first journey into the Amazon in particular had a really terrific John Huston vibe to it, which I always enjoy.

post #11 of 51

I also thought this was awesome. And the comparison point I thought of was also Lawrence of Arabia crossed with Aguirre. They watched a lot of Herzog to get ready for this, it seems. Beautiful film, and one I would strongly recommend seeing in theaters, as the pacing and mood amongst the creeper vines and tree canopy is really rewarded by complete commitment. It gets remarkably immersive, the longer you're living in it.

 

Hunnam, who I've pretty much never liked, is terrific in this. Justifies his entire career, and reminded me often of Errol Flynn at his height. If being terrible as Jax Teller for eight years made this possible, maybe it was worth it. Everyone's pretty good in it though. Robert Pattinson has such a decidedly second banana character actor role I couldn't believe it was him for a while. 

 

I'm curious what people thought of the ending, as I think it needed to be a bit harder edge. I get what they're going for, and it's nicely done, but it didn't quite work for me. 

post #12 of 51

Is this about the lost city of Zinj Tim Curry was rambling on about in CONGO?

 

congo-1995-herkermer-homolka-tim-curry-diamonds-smiling-review.jpg

post #13 of 51
It isn't, but I definitely heard his voice in my head reciting, "It is ab-so-lute-ly trew!" before entering the theater.
Edited by Carnotaur3 - 4/24/17 at 2:35pm
post #14 of 51

Tim Curry is the spitting image of Toby Kebbell there. That would make for a great cinematic father-son duo.

post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

Is this about the lost city of Zinj Tim Curry was rambling on about in CONGO?

congo-1995-herkermer-homolka-tim-curry-diamonds-smiling-review.jpg
If only Herzog had directed CONGO.
post #16 of 51
The movie is just fine as the gonzo guilty pleasure that it is. One not look further than "Stop eating my sesame cake!"
post #17 of 51

I think it's great that Tim Curry's Herkermer Homolka is going to be everyone's reference point for this, really sets you up perfectly for the kind of film this is.

post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

The movie is just fine as the gonzo guilty pleasure that it is. One not look further than "Stop eating my sesame cake!"

 

WHO'S KAFKA?!!!  TELL ME!!!

post #19 of 51

Ugh, stop talking about Congo, you guys.

 

I saw this last night and was really impressed. I agree with the Lean/Huston, "old-fashioned" feel others have pointed out. It reminded me very much more of movies before the year 2000 than movies since then. In addition to the likes of The Bridge over the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Herzog's "jungle movies" (though obviously more mainstream), The African Queen, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the other movie that immediately came to mind was The Ghost and the Darkness. Old-fashioned but at the same time feeling free to depart from Hollywood conventions (or at least contemporary, post-2000 ones). Not afraid to go for some stylistic flourishes (like the jump-cut from Robert Pattinson's booze getting poured down the drain to the train speeding through the countryside), but never letting the style overwhelm the substance.

 

The word that kept coming to my mind about the filmmaking was "confidence." This is a movie that knows what it wants to do and how to go about doing that. I was curious the whole time what else James Gray had done, and looking up his filmography after the movie I didn't expect the movies I saw there. The only previous movie of his I've seen is Two Lovers, which is beautiful and touching in a lot of ways but centers around a downright baffling performance by Joaquin Phoenix (two beautiful women fall in love with him, but he basically acts like a mumbly 14-year-old boy the whole time). Between that, some crime thrillers starring Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg, and The Immigrant (which I haven't seen), I wouldn't have expected The Lost City of Z to be the next installment in his body of work. Color me pleasantly surprised.

 

Also, I was delighted by the opera they found during their first expedition. "Oh, they just stumbled into Fitzcarraldo! Neat!"

post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiosity Cosby View Post
 

Ugh, stop talking about Congo, you guys.

 

I saw this last night and was really impressed. I agree with the Lean/Huston, "old-fashioned" feel others have pointed out. It reminded me very much more of movies before the year 2000 than movies since then. In addition to the likes of The Bridge over the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Herzog's "jungle movies" (though obviously more mainstream), The African Queen, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the other movie that immediately came to mind was The Ghost and the Darkness. Old-fashioned but at the same time feeling free to depart from Hollywood conventions (or at least contemporary, post-2000 ones). Not afraid to go for some stylistic flourishes (like the jump-cut from Robert Pattinson's booze getting poured down the drain to the train speeding through the countryside), but never letting the style overwhelm the substance.

 

The word that kept coming to my mind about the filmmaking was "confidence." This is a movie that knows what it wants to do and how to go about doing that. I was curious the whole time what else James Gray had done, and looking up his filmography after the movie I didn't expect the movies I saw there. The only previous movie of his I've seen is Two Lovers, which is beautiful and touching in a lot of ways but centers around a downright baffling performance by Joaquin Phoenix (two beautiful women fall in love with him, but he basically acts like a mumbly 14-year-old boy the whole time). Between that, some crime thrillers starring Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg, and The Immigrant (which I haven't seen), I wouldn't have expected The Lost City of Z to be the next installment in his body of work. Color me pleasantly surprised.

 

Also, I was delighted by the opera they found during their first expedition. "Oh, they just stumbled into Fitzcarraldo! Neat!"

 

It's funny you mention The Ghost and the Darkness, I kept hearing Goldsmith's score in my head when watching the movie. These are the times I wish our old heroes were still around. 

post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiosity Cosby View Post
 

Ugh, stop talking about Congo, you guys.

 

tumblr_n3hrhn9Xpm1ra3a2lo1_400.gif

 

HAVE YOUR LAUGHING!  AND I WILL HAVE MINE!

post #22 of 51

Just caught up with this, and can't believe something this epic made so little of a dent, box office wise and review wise.  Really interesting mash of Malick, Herzog with a touch of Kubrick (England scenes had a real "Barry Lyndon" feel, and the WWI stuff was all "Paths of Glory"). Damn shame it's been pretty much forgotten. Haven't heard a peep about it being in the Oscar game.

post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
 

I also thought this was awesome. And the comparison point I thought of was also Lawrence of Arabia crossed with Aguirre. They watched a lot of Herzog to get ready for this, it seems. Beautiful film, and one I would strongly recommend seeing in theaters, as the pacing and mood amongst the creeper vines and tree canopy is really rewarded by complete commitment. It gets remarkably immersive, the longer you're living in it.

 

Hunnam, who I've pretty much never liked, is terrific in this. Justifies his entire career, and reminded me often of Errol Flynn at his height. If being terrible as Jax Teller for eight years made this possible, maybe it was worth it. Everyone's pretty good in it though. Robert Pattinson has such a decidedly second banana character actor role I couldn't believe it was him for a while. 

 

I'm curious what people thought of the ending, as I think it needed to be a bit harder edge. I get what they're going for, and it's nicely done, but it didn't quite work for me. 

Completely agree with everything said here. Robert Pattinson disappears into his role, and after finding Hunnam almost intolerable in one role after another, he truly hit it out of the proverbial ballpark here.

 

Such a fabulous film in the truest sense of the word.

post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by levrock View Post
 

Just caught up with this, and can't believe something this epic made so little of a dent, box office wise and review wise.  Really interesting mash of Malick, Herzog with a touch of Kubrick (England scenes had a real "Barry Lyndon" feel, and the WWI stuff was all "Paths of Glory"). Damn shame it's been pretty much forgotten. Haven't heard a peep about it being in the Oscar game.

 

One of the best endings I've ever seen committed to film. 

post #25 of 51
It's going to premiere on Amazon Prime this Friday. Can't wait to see it!! I've heard nothing but good things from dam near everyone.
post #26 of 51

that is awesome. been waiting to see this. guess I can cancel my library request! (was not expecting there to be like 70 holds on the thing... guess people like their Hunnam or something)

post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

One of the best endings I've ever seen committed to film. 

Probably the most recent example I can think of where the third act is absolutely nailed and elevates everything that has come before. There was something imitative about the first two-thirds, an excellent imitation anchored by a lead performance that just about convinced (except the Royal Society scene - woof!) but the last act was close to transcendent. Made perfect sense too, and a brave way to end the film.
post #28 of 51

I really wish I had seen the movie you guys had seen. I was completely unmoved. I found Hunnam to be ridiculous, his aging unconvincing, the entire film completely inert. The only time I felt engaged was when the amateur tagged along and they had to decide whether or not to leave him (and its ensuing fallout).

 

I'm not here to piss in anyone's Cheerios; I just feel like I must have been taking crazy pills.

 

I say this as someone who thinks The Immigrant is one of the finest films ever made.

post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post


Probably the most recent example I can think of where the third act is absolutely nailed and elevates everything that has come before. There was something imitative about the first two-thirds, an excellent imitation anchored by a lead performance that just about convinced (except the Royal Society scene - woof!) but the last act was close to transcendent. Made perfect sense too, and a brave way to end the film.

 

Hunnam's face as he looked at his boy and told him he loved him.  Powerful!

 

He found his lost city, and it wasn't what he thought it'd be.

post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendrix View Post
 

I really wish I had seen the movie you guys had seen. I was completely unmoved. I found Hunnam to be ridiculous, his aging unconvincing, the entire film completely inert. The only time I felt engaged was when the amateur tagged along and they had to decide whether or not to leave him (and its ensuing fallout).

 

I'm not here to piss in anyone's Cheerios; I just feel like I must have been taking crazy pills.

 

I say this as someone who thinks The Immigrant is one of the finest films ever made.

 

When it comes to Gray it's all about Little Odessa for me. I like The Yards a lot, too.

 

So curious to see this and then see how I excited I do or don't get about Ad Astra. For sure, Gray knows how to pick his DPs. Khondji for Z and then working with Hoytema next.

post #31 of 51
Joaquin Phoenix under those red lights while Heart of Glass plays in We Own The Night is the greatest opening of the past 15 years.
post #32 of 51
Agreed that the third act elevates this from "good" to "very good/great." The best word to describe the finale is "apotheosis."
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

 

Hunnam's face as he looked at his boy and told him he loved him.  Powerful!

 


Gray does seem to love the beautiful simplicity of that. He ends "We Own The Night" in  a similar fashion (though in a totally different context).

post #34 of 51

Everything around Charlie Hunnam is fantastic.

post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

 Charlie Hunnam is fantastic.

HOW COULD YOU???

post #36 of 51

I HAVE BEEN MISQUOTED!

 

Seriously, that old person makeup was terrible. But damn, everything that was non Hunnam-y was tremendous.

post #37 of 51

I don't think Hunnam was bad in this, per se, but I did find myself incredibly ambivalent about him.

 

In a more austere or aesthetically driven film that could have worked fine, but much of this had a pretty conventional drama feel to the scenes, even if the overarching story was a bit more elliptical and non-compromising. So I felt like a lot of what I was watching I was supposed to be emotionally moved by, and simply wasn't.

 

That said, the final scene with his boy was handled well. It was one of about five moments in the 2 1/2 hour flick that I connected with Hunnam's performance.

 

Technical merits on this were quite good and it's worth watching for Khondji's cinematography if nothing else. And yeah, I liked all the performances around Hunnam, particularly Pattinson's in a rather thankless but sizable part and Sienna Miller was great, glad that she got the final shot, which was a nifty one.

 

It's funny because in almost every way possible, Mrs. Fawcett is the most interesting character in this story, but her story isn't as interesting as the story of the much less interesting characters. Not sure how that works, but I can see why more of the movie wasn't about her at the same time that I suspect a movie about her would have been a good bit more dramatically compelling.

post #38 of 51

I am watching this now and I cannot seem to figure out why it seems like Hunnam is using a bad English accent as well. It sure is pretty though!

post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
 

I am watching this now and I cannot seem to figure out why it seems like Hunnam is using a bad English accent as well. It sure is pretty though!

At this point, I don't think Hunnam could do an Australian accent. It's kind of remarkable!

 

EDIT: Whoa, I just learned he's English. I thought he was Australian! My mind is blown. I noticed his bad English accent too.

post #40 of 51

Hunnam has one of those weird Christian Bale accents where he sound neither British or American. 

post #41 of 51

Sorry! I should have made it clearer that I am baffled that he's not even good at his own damn accent. It's so odd. Perhaps he's adjusting for a more era-appropriate accent? I wouldn't know honestly.

post #42 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
 

Sorry! I should have made it clearer that I am baffled that he's not even good at his own damn accent. It's so odd. Perhaps he's adjusting for a more era-appropriate accent? I wouldn't know honestly.

I think you may be right, but I gave him a pass because I didn't realize he was actually English. I guess the issue is that he's just a very modern (not great) actor.

post #43 of 51

He's a Geordie, I think. An Edwardian RP accent isn't his own.

 

But yes, he isn't good at speaking like what others do.

 

Fucking great film, regardless. Best third act I've seen for quite a while.

post #44 of 51
His accent is all over the place these days (even in interviews and on talk shows, much to my amusement), but yeah he's geordie born and bred. I still remember Hunnam from his Byker Grove days- imagine a low budget TV drama for young people where everyone sounds like Davos Seaworth. Ooh Byker!
post #45 of 51
I can't remember what accent he has in Green Street, but I seem to recall it wasn't embarrassing. Something hapoened to him around the time he started in Sons of Anarchy. The effort to play a Californian biker Hamlet appears to have broken him.

Fuck it - I take that back. Just checked out some Green Street footage on Youtube and it's the worst Cockney accent since Cheadle. Clearly the man was not born to masquerade as anything but a lad from Tyneside. I still maintain SOA broke his brain somehow. His "real" accent now is like something cooked up in a laboratory by an 11 year old.

What's impressive though is that despite the handicap, he gives a strong performance in Z. They either need to find the world's best dialogue coach or just let him speak in his original voice.
post #46 of 51
I thought he was Australian too. Don't know why. Did he play an Australian on Undeclared?
post #47 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by User_32 View Post

I thought he was Australian too. Don't know why. Did he play an Australian on Undeclared?


Nope. That's the only time I've personally ever liked him.

post #48 of 51

I thought he DID play an Australian on Undeclared? Wow.

post #49 of 51

Huh. Well going back and listening, I can easily see how someone would think that. I am pretty sure it is clearly established that he's English. I am going to have to reassess whether I liked him in Undeclared or not now. He sounds like a mix of a Englishman and an Australian with cotton in his mouth.

 

post #50 of 51

 

Edited to add that whatever the fuck accent Hunnam was sporting in that last clip above certainly isn't one of the 30 regional accents of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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